The US Treasury has sanctioned Iranian officials, including those with the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, for cooperation with Russian entities in an “oil smuggling and money laundering network”.

The Treasury said current and former Quds Force figures organised the smuggling, “backed by senior levels of the Russian Federation government” and including UAE and Chinese companies and a former Afghan diplomat. The network allegedly raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the Quds Force, which operates outside Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to support militant groups in countries like Syria.

Referring to the stalled Vienna talks for renewal of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “While the United States continues to seek a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will strictly enforce sanctions on Iran’s illicit oil trade.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price added, “The signal that we are sending is that we’re not going to tolerate the illicit activities of the Quds Force, of other Iranian proxies, terrorist groups that receive Iranian support.”

The sanctions were announced three days after the Israeli-organized assassination of Revolutionary Guards Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodayari, who oversaw transfers of technology and weapons to the Assad regime and Hezbollah.

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Among the sanctioned Iranians is Gen. Rustam Qassemi, Iran’s current Roads and Urban Transport Minister, former Oil Minister, and former head of the Revolutionary Guards’ engineering and logistics branch Khatam al-Anbia.

Blacklisted entities include Russia-based RPP LLC, which transferring millions of dollars on behalf of the Quds Force, according to the Treasury; UAE-based Zamanoil DMCC, accused of working with the Kremlin and state-owned c to ship Iranian oil to companies in Europe; and a former Afghan diplomat in Moscow.

Chinese companies on the list include the Beijing-based Haokun Energy Group and its Hong Kong-based subsidiary China Haokun Energy, said to have bought millions of barrels of Iranian oil from the Quds Force.